Source: News-Journal

John Mark Storer (1923-2009)

John Mark Storer, 86, of North Manchester, Indiana, died at 3:50 a.m. Friday, September 18, 2009, at Peabody Healthcare Center in North Manchester. He was born June 16, 1923, to Warren A. and Mabel (Miller) in Anoka Junction, a small rural community located five miles southeast of Logansport.

John's mother died in 1928 of pneumonia, when he was only five. Thereafter, he and his sister, Florence, who was a year older, were raised by their father and their closely knit hometown community of 45. He never disparaged the bygone era of his childhood when life was much simpler, and the good folks of Anoka helped to mold his character.

North Manchester became his second home after he was awarded a scholarship to Manchester College through the initiative of his high school principal. It was not common for anyone in Anoka to consider an education past the 12th grade, but John was not a common soul.

Known for his exceptional intellect, John was a man of many interests. He loved sports and people, he was a prolific satirical poet, he never forgot the punch-line to his endless repertoire of jokes, and he was passionate about the causes he believed in.

He was extremely proud of his service to his country in World War II as a B-17 navigator and the year he spent as a "guest of the Germans" in Stalag Luft VII. He had passed the Army Air Corps' difficult exam to be a pilot, but chose to be a navigator instead. The prestige of being a pilot wasn't as important to him as doing what he thought to be the more interesting of the two jobs.

After the war, he returned home to his wife, Ferne (Searer), and her family who always treated him as one of their own. He completed his education at Indiana University with a master's degree in Business Administration and pursued an eclectic career that ranged from high school teacher to air and hydraulics engineer. He co-authored five books on the latter subject.

His two children and their spouses survive him: Susan Ramirez and husband, Armando, of Houston, Texas, and Mark and wife, Rhonda, of Warsaw, Indiana

For nearly two years, John deeply mourned the loss of Ferne in 1992 to cancer, just three months shy of their 50th wedding anniversary. Although his pain was great, he knew he still had a lot of living to do.

In 1994, he met and married Rose Mary Thorn, and she survives. He embraced her family, two children and their spouses: Steve Thorn and wife, Sharon, of Urbana, Indiana, and Carla Young and husband, Greg, of Roanoke, Indiana.

Rose Mary and John shared many a laugh and enjoyed traveling before John's final illness. They went to Germany several times and attended John's reunions of former German prisoners of war.

In 2007, John published a book of vignettes about his life. In character with the unique way he viewed things, he titled it, Famous People You've Never Heard Of.

Profoundly loved by his family and friends, John will be greatly missed.

Funeral services will be held at Peabody Memorial Chapel, 400 W. 7th Street, North Manchester, on Tuesday, September 22, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. with Pastor Dan Binkley and Rev. Sue Babovec officiating. Friends may call 4-8 p.m., Monday, September 21, at Grandstaff-Hentgen Bender Chapel, 207 W. Main Street, North Manchester, and one hour prior to the service Tuesday at Peabody Memorial Chapel.

Masonic Services will be at 7:00 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.

Preferred memorials are to Peabody Caring Circle or North Manchester American Legion.